Korn Ferry Reviews

Updated August 22, 2014
Updated August 22, 2014
100 Reviews

3.1
100 Reviews
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Korn Ferry CEO and Director Gary D. Burnison
Gary D. Burnison
60 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The frim has a great brand and interesting ideas on how to change in the future (in 8 reviews)

  • Global market leader within Executive Search (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Terrible work-life balance and unreasonable expectations more often than not (in 3 reviews)

  • Sometimes you have to spend long hours whilst being paid very little, chances to get promotion are very slim: junior positions here aren't recommended (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Diverse Talent and World Class IP

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Strong supportive local office culture, collaborative global community

    Cons

    organization in transition phase = current uncertainty and integration pains

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    It had its moments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - QA in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Employees have great background and most of IT senior staff has been here for more than 15 years.

    Cons

    Conservative, Senior IT Management is not aware of software practices..terrible work-life balance and unreasonable expectations more often than not, chances to get promotion are very slim, weak senior management and lot of politicss

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To IT executive team: Focus less on job security and related politics and work to create more of an open-communication culture and work to help employees find a better work/life balance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Low Integrity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PRI
    Current Employee - PRI

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Brand recognition
    Client access
    Potential
    There are like most professional services firms many remarkable and take Ted people who work there

    Cons

    The firm has branded itself as a talent management consultancy (see website)
    The firm is a search firm that has broadened its product portfolio with a series of acquisitions including PDI, Global Novations, Lominger and FutureStep among others.
    The vast majority of the Leadership and Talent Consulting practice revenue is driven by product related sales - mostly assessment (PDI) competency related (Lominger) and training (Global Novations)
    The professionals coming from these acquired companies are highly educated and talented. They are equally limited in their experience with broader talent consulting let alone organization development experience or qualifications.
    The marketing department is way out ahead of the groups actual capability touting the firm as the new kid in town
    The leaders in charge of building a broader capability come from these product based companies as well and have not built a practice of this scale so it's really a mess
    They are very good at recruiting you in emphasizing the opp to build the practice but you should ask about the following:
    Governance - the CFO controls the practice and demonstrates a lack of experience building a consultancy. Remember that's in addition to being a public company.
    Partnership - being a partner is a title only. The partners do not work together to build the practice, develop its people or define the practice's future.
    Access to opportunities - even if you bring relationships you cannot avoid working with the mostly narrowly experienced people from the acquired organizations they have assigned as industry or client leads. These people tend to sell what they are familiar with and be threatened by new people with broader capability. There are few exceptions to this and considering all the search relationships very little green field to build a book of business. The search partner thing is what you would expect - highly variable 're understanding talent and preparing for a meeting with their clients can be a time consuming nightmare.
    Sales target - Principles and Partners have a sales target of up to 2M/year which at first seems easy until you realize there is absolutely no leverage - few to no consultants to help unless you are selling products where you sell, others deliver and yet another group manages the project. They have lifted and installed the model from PDI. So you need to sell 2M per year, if so make a maybe 100k bonus on top of your 240k base and remember you deliver most of the work. If you are a product pusher and that turns your crank you are in much better shape. The system forces you to sell product - assessments, competency models, training rograms - you get the drill (2014 bonuses paid in June 2014 far below 100k target. I sold 1.8, delivered 90 percent of the work and got 30k and a promotion - huh?)
    Integrity is the most significant issue - the firm literally does not use its own tools. There is no formal onboarding, almost all training is overview of product and how to sell it, hierarchal performance management, no assessment of leaders ( hardest one to stomach as they are literally impacting the careers of 1000s of professionals as they report assessment results to executives, CEOs and Board. Really concerning)
    If you are considering this firm because of its potential that makes sense. If you think you can join as a new person and affect change against these practices brought by the acquired organizations and entrenched by the appointment of them at every point of market access and leadership - your mom is right, you really are amazing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire McKinsey, BCG or Deloitte and conduct a thorough assessment of the business
    Have the Board pay the bill because The CEO needs to listen and hear the results - not sure if he's cut out to do this stage if t be org but not for me to say
    Translate the business assessment results to leader success profiles just like you do for your clients
    Assess current leaders against profiles using your assessment tools including 360 feedback
    Get the right leaders in the right roles, transition finance from running the practice to a support role to track lag indicators and hold your leadership team accountable to grow the practice through project delivery, client growth and building a pipeline of next generation talent
    Physician heal thyself

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    de

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Korn Ferry

    Pros

    de training, career, leadership, diversity, global

    Cons

    career growth, development, feedback, comp, politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    de

  6.  

    Not a great culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good brand and global reach. Has all the pieces to become a truly unique talent management firm.

    Cons

    Very weak leadership and poor strategic vision. No teamwork at all. Way too many crusty old search guys hanging around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house at the top. The business is fundamentally changing folks. You have all the pieces to make a real difference. Put them together and you might win. Leave them apart and you will lose.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Tremendous potential if it would practice what it preaches

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time

    Pros

    Strongest brand of any firm in its class, with highest revenues and largest footprint
    Varied range of products and services, offering strong growth potential
    Financially disciplined and well-positioned for continued growth

    Cons

    Political culture where finance exerts extreme control over LOB leadership
    Executive search business heavily favored, leaving other businesses to fight for relevance
    No appetite for practicing what it preaches to clients - internal talent management is far less important than company financial performance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company brand is strong, however that is a testament to the people who have built it. If what the firm sells to its clients is worth the premium charged, then perhaps it's time to start developing people instead of treating them as a commodity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Steer clear of this company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great, intelligent people, great intellectual property.

    Cons

    No work-life balances, no raises, not even a cost of living raise, there is no incentive to stay here. Too many acquisitions and too much work being sold with not enough resources to deliver. Employees are disposable and overworked. They want a certain level of employee yet are not willing to pay for it. No company culture. There is no appreciation or compensation for employees at lower levels.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No one at lower levels likes this company. Your are getting the continuous turnover that you deserve.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Run-of-the-Mill Corporate Enterprise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Location flexibility - due to lack of office space, the "hoteling" culture already prominent at many consulting firms is starting to take root

    Cons

    - No on-boarding
    - Very little employee training
    - Pays below market value for roles at similar firms
    - Very little/no diversity
    - Weak leadership

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    A company that has treated me well.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people seem to care about each other and want to help you succeed.

    Cons

    The type of work makes it so that you feel like you never really accomplish anything because as soon as you finish a project/search, it's on to the next one.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work to create more of an open-communication culture and work to help employees find a better work/life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    If you consider working in their IT department, think twice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer/Analyst  in  Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer/Analyst in Glendale, CA

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Well established public company, business seems to be going well, nice compensation and nice benefits.

    Cons

    I worked on internal systems as a software developer for a little over a year. Some of the IT executives will feel threatened by and will seek to oppress talented people, out of fear for their positions. That insecurity creates an environment where decisions are made based on politics instead of what is good for the company, the products.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To IT executive team: Focus less on job security and related politics and more on the quality of the products and the systems you build and manage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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